FISHY BUSINESS: The no-nonsense sign at Yakitori Yakudori in Hillcrest announces “We Do Not Serve Sushi.” Okay, so there’s a sushi joint down the block. This successor to Chef Lau’s Asian Tapas offers a nearly endless list of skewered and grilled meats and seafood, including unlikely sounding items like quail eggs ($3 for two skewers) and fancy puchi tomatoes (ditto). The menu writer must have used a Japanese-English dictionary to conceive “Chicken Entrails” as the alarming heading for chicken livers and hearts. Don’t worry, they taste good— and the cooks don’t teriyaki the vanilla ice cream (3739 Sixth Avenue; 619-692-4189).
IT’S NOT BAYWATCH, it’s Seawood Watch, a pocket-size chart that assists restaurant patrons who want to “make choices for healthy oceans” by ordering fish and shellfish that are either abundant or farmed in environment-friendly situations (it suggests farmed sturgeon instead of threatened wild sturgeon, for example). Co-produced by Estancia Winery and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the guide can be snatched from the necks of bottles of Estancia wines, or ordered free at seafoodwatch.org.
STAR OF THE SEA hosted one of the “Chef Celebration Dinners” held annually to support culinary scholarships. The seafoodery’s Jesse Paul contributed rouget (red mullet) paired with a degustation, or “tasting” of carrots. Five intriguing mouthfuls, all orange . . . Tony DiSalvo of Jack’s La Jolla scored big with his composition of spiced langoustine, butternut squash ravioli and a beurre noisette “froth,” or browned butter foam. Foams are hot right now, and they’re certainly frothy.
FLIP-FLOPS and camouflage-pattern shorts instead of roses and romance? KSL Resorts, which operates Hotel del Coronado, will adios the landmark Prince of Wales in January (what about those gorgeous chairs?) and replace it with a room devoted to coastal Baja cuisine. The goal? To generate “greater volume”—as in bigger bucks. Seems a classy, historic hotel needs a classy, historic restaurant, but don’t tell that to the boys at the head office. The Del press release terms the demolition “exciting,” and it does raise the blood pressure. Chef Aaron Daly will remain at the range, and as grief therapy, executive chef Greg Ische has snared big-name specialists in “Southland coastal” cuisine to cook farewell dinners. Last up: Richard Sandoval of New York’s Pampano, on January 5. R.I.P., P.O.W.
RESTAURANT WEEK APPROACHES, and from January 15 to 20, some 100 eateries will feed us three courses for $30. Bargains beckon: The Westgate’s Le Fontainebleau will serve such regular menu items as Colorado lamb rack and bittersweet-chocolate soufflé…
IN THE KITCHEN: With the departure of Timothy Au, Tim Kolanko assumes the title of chef de cuisine at A.R. Valentien at The Lodge at Torrey Pines . . . Top of the Cove’s “Day with the Chef” program charges cookster wanna- bes $800 to accompany chef Timothy Ralphs on buying expeditions to farms and seafood purveyors, and then help prepare a four-course dinner to be shared with three other guests . . . Duathlete Bernard Mougel of Rancho Bernardo’s charming Bernard’O recently ran and biked as a member of Team USA at the sport’s world championships in Newcastle, Australia. His new bar menu offers goodies like lobster spring rolls . . . Pascal Vignau of Savory in Encinitas plans a second eatery, to be named Fig.
IN POLYGLOT CARLSBAD, a sandwich board at the Armenian Café advertises the $11.95 special dinner in German. Besides Armenianer salat and suppe von der taj (in English, soup du jour), the meal includes kebabs with jajek sauce, rice and pita . . . On Fridays and Saturdays in January, executive chef Lewis Butler of Rancho Bernardo Inn will pair Dungeness crab specialties with international Chardonnays in the Verandah.